It’s a play that will haunt Bill Belichick and the Patriots for the rest of the season, if not longer.

 

The Pats coach’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 from his own 28 late in Sunday’s stunning loss to the Colts has been replayed endlessly on television, and debated at length on the radio and online.

 

There’s been plenty of backlash to go around after the failed gamble.

 

“While the Patriots Were Beating the Colts, Bill Belichick Turned into a Horse’s Behind,” read a headline on the Boston Dirt Dogs blog.

 

“All in all, I hated the call,” SI.com football guru Peter King wrote. “It smacked of I’m-smarter-than-they-are hubris.”

But a funny thing happened yesterday afternoon:?backlash to the backlash.

Much of the Belichick defense was centered around a post on AdvancedNFLstats.com, which broke down why going for it was the better call, statisically.

“You can play with the numbers any way you like, but it’s pretty hard to come up with a realistic combination of numbers that make punting the better option,” the post concluded. “At best, you could make it a wash.”

Before long, the report was all over the Web, leading to this succinct headline on the popular blog Deadspin:

“Belichick Was Right.”

Meanwhile, the coach stuck to his guns in his press conference.

“The same thing I said after the game: I thought it was our best chance to win,” Belichick told reporters. “I thought we needed to make that one play and then we could basically run out the clock.

“We weren’t able to make it.”